The Right Question

“My back hurts … what do I do?” Fair question. More on this in a moment. But first …

I’ve been reading a fair amount lately about the topic of asking the right question in a business setting. To illustrate: your company is asking for feedback about the structure of staff meetings. Most of your fellow employees are likely going to give feedback quite pertinent to the structure that’s set up, like “I don’t think Robbin is the best facilitator to lead the marketing review; Larry should do that” or “Five minutes isn’t enough time for a realistic bathroom break for 70 people” or even “I want blueberry muffins.”

Right? Two things.

1) This feedback will likely all be addressed in a satisfactory way. For every question (which is what the feedback is, essentially asking “can we do it this way instead?”), there’s a very legit, real, true response

2) All of those questions, and therefore all of their answers, are completely moot if someone asks another question—”Is having a meeting really the best vehicle for doing what we as a company want to do in this case?”—and the answer is no.

The rug is simply pulled out. I love this! And while it seems pretty clear and Four Hour Work Week-ish in the office—spend your time on business, not just busy-ness—it may be less so when it comes to leveraging our own strengths in our health.

I’m certainly finding this our for myself. How many times did I as a college athlete count how many grams  of protein I’d need for each twenty minutes of plyometric training? How many mg of ibuprofen to combat the inflammation in my knees without giving me an ulcer? How do I release my left hip that’s been seizing up when I’m two hours into a grueling workout?

While all of these questions received legit answers (eight, 600 and a heel lift for my right foot), there were more fundamental things that needed addressing that probably would’ve made these questions moot. In short in this case, I was overtraining, and my form would get so poor at the end of long workouts I was wrenching my knees in my best attempt to just get through. I was also really favoring my right leg.

My questions in some ways were quite obvious to the situation. But there were much more fundamental questions I could’ve been asking, which would’ve pulled the rug out on the other ones.

And so … “My back hurts. What do I do?” If you ask a room full of experts in their given fields, you’re likely to get just as many answers, and all of those answers totally legit, actual, and empirically true. Yes, there’s a molecular thing happening with the actin and myosin; yes, T4 is locked in rotation; yes, your fascia is bound is a particular way; yes, your posture may well reflect your deepest emotions and beliefs about the way the world works …

See how fundamental and out-of-the-box you can get with your question first. It’s the most empowering and true thing for all of us.

One response to “The Right Question

  1. exactly!

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